Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton are both backing the Berlin Film Festival’s decision to do away with gendered acting awards and give only a Best Actor honour.
“I have always referred to myself as an actor,” Blanchett says in Venice where she is the Venice Film Festival jury president this year. “I am of the generation where the word ‘actress’ was used almost always in a pejorative sense. So I claim the other space.”
“I think a good performance is a good performance no matter the sexual orientation of who is making them,” Blanchett adds.
Swinton, too, supports genderless honours.
“Humans are so interested in division and compartmentalizing ourselves. As we’re really getting to understand now, this is not the way to go — dividing people up and prescribing a path for them, whether gender or race or class,” she says, praising the “sensible” move made by the Berlin festival while speaking as part of a masterclass session in Venice. Swinton also received the festival’s Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Blanchett on Wednesday.
“It’s just such a waste of life. Life is too short for all of this. I’m really happy to hear that about Berlin and I think it’s pretty much inevitable that everybody will follow. It’s just obvious to me. The whole idea of being fixed in any way, it just makes me claustrophobic,” Swinton continues. “It just makes me sad to call yourself definitively heterosexual, definitively homosexual, definitively male, definitively female. It makes me want to go to sleep. So bravo, Berlin.”